Medtronic’s ‘Artificial Pancreas’ for Diabetes Receives FDA Approval

London- A single leap in the medical field has been recently approved by federal regulators which promises some help for patients suffering type 1 diabetes or “juvenile diabetes”.

Federal regulators at The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States officially authorized the very first automated insulin delivery system — a so-called “artificial pancreas”, which is also a monitoring device that pumps insulin into the patient’s bloodstream.

The Medtronic MiniMed 670G system continuously monitors glucose (blood sugar) levels and delivers needed insulin to patients. Moreover, the system measures a patient’s glucose levels every five minutes and either administers or withholds insulin as needed; helping patients maintain glucose levels within the normal range the majority of the time.

The Medtronic device includes a coin-size sensor with a protruding needle that is slipped under the skin and continually monitors glucose levels. It is held in place with a sticky backing. The other main component is an insulin pump, often worn on the side of the abdomen, which has tubes that lead to a catheter that delivers insulin.

Insulin pumps are currently used by more than a third of U.S. patients with type 1 diabetes, but they require manual adjustment to administer the needed insulin dose.

Despite the device being an automated regulator for sugar levels, the patient is still required to manually install insulin supply to the device at the start of each day.

The device is approved for those aged 14 and older.

Although Medtronic has not announced a price for the MiniMed 670G, it is been estimated to sell somewhere between $6,000 and $9,000, with the annual cost of disposable sensors another few thousand dollars.

“This is a revolutionary day for the treatment of diabetes. We’ve been long awaiting the artificial pancreas, and it’s exciting to see it,” Dr. Robert Courgi, an endocrinologist at Northwell Health’s South Side Hospital in Bay Shore, New York told CNN.

This Article was originally published in the Asharq Al-Awsat

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